Why We Need a New Bible Version

By Rod Laughlin.

When I first began working towards developing a Bible in modern formats, I wondered which translation to use. Easy to ask but difficult to answer. Of course, I wanted to use an accepted translation. So which of the “big five” do I choose?

  • New International Version
  • New Living Translation
  • New King James
  • King James
  • English Standard Version

When I began speaking with people in the Bible publishing world, I quickly encountered a problem. Most people/companies who own a Bible translation give permission for people to quote their translation for free if the quotes are small enough and credit is given to the copyright owner. And most license (for a fee) their translations for printing larger portions, or whole Bibles. But the licenses always require the licensee to quote completely and accurately.

I could not do that!

Several Bibles open

Why it wouldn’t work
Because when The Readable Bible presents a family tree rather than a paragraph of who gave birth to whom, English words are missing. They are represented by lines and boxes (I’ll address whether Jesus would allow this in another article). For instance, the horizontal line under Adam and Eve’s names and the vertical line down to Cain tell us, “Adam made love with his wife, Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain.” (Gen. 4:1) Existing translations will let you quote the Scripture and have a family tree next to it, but not replace the English words with the table. So, I could not use an existing copyrighted translation.

What about the King James? It is in the public domain, not covered by a copyright in the USA. Yes, I could use that. But anyone who is a King James reader does not want its words replaced with modern formats. And anyone who wants modern formats does not want the King James Version. So it became clear to me that I would have to create a new translation.

Now how do you do that? Find out in our next blog.

2 thoughts on “Why We Need a New Bible Version

  1. Rod, Thanks for taking this on. It is important work. I subscribed to the development team list today and am looking forward to proofing my first book.


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